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Although their noun/verb differences have been covered in other posts, is there any specific difference between using them as nouns only?

For example, is there any difference between:

  1. 城市已经发生了很大的变化

  2. 城市已经发生了很大的改变

  • users suggest studying dictionary entries for both, esp. bkrs, ichacha, iciba – user6065 Feb 7 '18 at 10:28
  • Tell me first that how do you distinguish the nouns of change, variety, diversification and transformation? – Hao FU Feb 12 '18 at 3:02
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a. 城市已经发生了很大的变化。

b. 城市已经发生了很大的改变。

Comparing 变化 with 改变 in this context, 改变 connotes 城市 is being changed (say by people) from the past. Well, 变化 connotes that we see or identify some difference from what the city used to be. 改变 describes the action, change.

  • Thanks Dan - that makes a lot of sense given the context. I'd just never seen 改变 used as a noun before! – Hashamyim Feb 8 '18 at 0:58
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    改变 can be a noun. For example,这种改变是可以被接受的。 – dan Feb 8 '18 at 1:06
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变化 is a noun only, 改变 is a verb commonly, but also a noun. They are interchangeable as a noun in most cases, 改变 usually carries the meaning of positive changes.

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改变 always means a better change than before. 变化 just means something changed, it could be better or worse than before.

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变化 happens objectively , 改变 happens subjectively (even in your example the object is omitted).

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